This week’s updates are:

1. Planning Practice Guidance Planning Portal – The DCLG web site for the NPPF and planning guidance.

2. Appeal – Witney – Dismissed – re Hot Food takeaway (A5) and Crime & Disorder – Thanks to Ian Carmichael, TVP for this.

3. Bumper harvest for straw bale housing residents

4. Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) – House of Commons Library Standard Notice

5. Houses in multiple occupation and the Use Classes Order - House of Commons Library Standard Notice

6. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) – House of Commons Library Standard Note

7. Revenue reveals ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for late tax returns

Visit the 'Secured By Design' web site for CPDA contact details, design guides, licence holders & application forms: www.securedbydesign.com

1. Planning Practice Guidance Planning Portal – The DCLG web site for the NPPF and Planning Practice Guidance.
The list of subjects under ‘Planning Practice Guidance’, is still being added to on the Beta mode. If you are wondering where ‘designing out crime’ is, look under Design. There are also bits under:
· What are the key points to take into account when considering the quality of the public realm?
· What are the key points to take into account when considering ease of movement and the quality of streets?
· What role does the planning system have in designing out crime? (This part mentions about sec 17 of the Crime & Disorder Act 1998)
· What information should be considered for crime reduction based measures?
Other items of interest are:
· How does the Local Planning Authority ensure that the six tests in paragraph 206 of the National Planning Policy Framework have been met?
· How do I assess the needs for open space, sports and recreation facilities? (This has a link to Sports England)
· What factors influence whether noise could be a concern? - (One part of this says: Some commercial developments including fast food restaurants, night clubs and public houses can have particular impacts, not least because activities are often at their peak in the evening and late at night. Local planning authorities will wish to bear in mind not only the noise that is generated within the premises but also the noise that may be made by customers in the vicinity.)
· What factors are relevant when considering where light shines? - (Security lighting receives comment)
· Which indicators should be used to determine the health of town centres? - (Mentions about perception of safety and occurrence of crime)
· Do the normal planning rules apply to Crown Development? - (National Security provisions are mentioned and there is a section on: How can sensitive information in a planning application be protected?)
· What other organisations should local planning authorities engage with as part of the planning application process? – (Police and Crime Commissioners are mentioned)
All available at: http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/

2. Appeal – Witney – Dismissed – re Hot Food takeaway (A5) and Crime & Disorder – Thanks to Ian Carmichael, TVP for this.
The appeal decision is attached.

3. Bumper harvest for straw bale housing residents
University of Bath and Modcell technology cuts energy bills by 90% in Leeds affordable community. Residents of the Low Impact Living Affordable Community (LILAC) in Bramley, Leeds have received an early Christmas present in their first energy bills of the year. After spending six months in their new homes made from straw bale panels, members of the community have managed to reduce their gas bills by 90% compared to the average for Leeds, as a result of the increased insulation in their properties. More at: http://www.building4change.com/page.jsp?id=2136

4. Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) – House of Commons Library Standard Notice
Houses in multiple occupation. By Wendy Wilson. SN/SP/708. An overview of the powers local authorities have to control standards in HMOs, and is attached.

5. Houses in multiple occupation and the Use Classes Order - House of Commons Library Standard Notice
This note explains the powers local authorities have via the planning system to limit the development of new houses in multiple occupation, and is attached.

6. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) – House of Commons Library Standard Note
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). By Wendy Wilson. SN/SP/1917. An explanation of the system used by environmental health officers to assess housing conditions and under which enforcement action may be taken, and is attached.

7. Revenue reveals ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for late tax returns
The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:
· My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);
· I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);
· After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);
· My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);
· My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);
· I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);
· My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);
· I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);
· Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and
· I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).
All of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/revenue-reveals-top-10-oddest-excuses-for-late-tax-returns